Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Catching up, Gala notts, manchester gukpt and more...

Well quite a bit has been going on since my last post. So a feeling this could be a long one, i'd get the pillow ready if i was you!

Two weeks back two mates and I traveled up to nottingham for the gala british poker tour. Arriving in time for a two hundred freeze the day before the main event i was pretty happy to get back to the felt. The 200 went very well and i soon was largely stacked. This was partly due to good cards, good play and some....well dubious opponent's moves. I often felt people thought they could either bluff a pot committed player, or that top pair was never, ever, ever, ummmmm.......ever beat. Well it was as i hit sets against aces twice-after getting in cheap- and i cruised down to the last couple of tables. Here is where the problems began.
All of a sudden from a half decently stacked structure i felt we were playing a crapshoot. Luckily push poker is something i am quite good at, but still it's not exactly enjoyable and kind of takes the skill out of the game....but perhaps thats my edge :)
Anyway i got so desperate with about 15 left i had to push blind from middle position as everybody was doing the same more or less and i felt all i wanted was fold equity. My queen ten was no match for the bb's aq, before the flop that is. A beautiful q1010 flop sealed the deal, was nice to get lucky one time one time PEOPLE! Of course this soon bit me in the ass as when i arrived on the final table as my aces were immediately cracked by jacks, allin pre. I built up again but my ak soon got knocked over by trip queens, the ace on the flop kinda cute, the queen on the river a sickner. All in all a good laugh had tho, and 720 for 8th better than nothing.

Day 1a in the main event is rather hazy if im honest. It all went rather slow early on i believe, although i was sat on the left of a mr cashpoint, a good mate i had travelled up with. If im honest that first table was quite weak with only 2 or 3 good players. Marco of course being one of em. I got my stack up to about 25k from a starting stack of 10k without huge incident and was quite dismayed to see the table broken. Yet my new table bar el blondie was even weaker. Stealing was easy and flop play was generally weak. That was further enforced by the legendary colclough being moved soon after my arrvival. Soon i had upped my stack to 50k before wheels started to grease a little bit on the runway of the poker table. To my left was a player who started to play back at me big style. A man who played big pot poker with fearless aggression. Id soon done half my stack and was now somewhat relieved to be moved table. After surviving a couple of scares i eased my way thru to day 2 with a just under average stack of 37k.
After going to dtd on my day off i felt relaxed entering the final day. I doubled up early through the chip leader and played good tight aggressive poker. Eventually i had 200k with 12 left and felt the final table was a certainty. Unfortunately i blew up by chronically overplaying ace 5 suited and running into aces. My bowl of rice thereafter was soon eroded and i exited for just over 2k in 11th. My friend and fellow wsope final tableist (shameless mention) james keys went on to finish second and prove what a superb player he is.

Manchester and gukpt week was soon upon me and i travelled up with the taiger fish on the wednesday to catch up with some old mates before playing the main on thursday. I ended up playing a 50 quid rebuy in stockport and narrowly missed out on the final table.
Thursday's table looked tough. Couple of online players, well known good gukpt players and the london champion ketul on my direct left, i had heard good things about this guy and wasn't too happy with him having position. I actually needn't have worried too much about him as im not sure he was 100%, and i ended up knocking him out in a very strange hand. James thought i'd shown a leak by playing the hand in the first place, but i had my reasons. May put up that hand at a latter date.
The problem i had on the table was dave smith. The guy kept putting me allin early on. On at least one occasion i felt i was ahead but if so barely, i waited for better spots-perhaps i shouldn't have. When i was moved from the table i was not exactly overjoyed to be put on a table with laurence houghton from the gutshot. A player i respect, but also an absolute nightmare with position and he duely took a few of my chips. I was again moved with 2 hours of the day left and was very averagely stacked with 20k when i sat at my new table. A hugely stacked willie tann was dominating the table and although i had position my stack and more importantly my appaulling cards meant i was folding for england.
Soon enough i found cowboys in late position. Raising it up i was called in one spot by the button. Jack, 7, 3 with two clubs was a nice enough flop for me especially with the king of clubs. I bet just under the pot-around 2/3rds and was flat called. The turn brought the ace of clubs. Going with my read of the player-a bit of a calling station- i was very worried he had aj here. I decided id either shove or check, and went with the latter. He checked behind and now i dont put him on the ace jack. The river brought a 9 of spades and i now made a terrible mistake. Here i either shove or check. But no with the pot standing at about 20k and 12.5 k back i put in a blocker bet of 2.5k????!!! Madness as he immediately pushed and i was forced to fold. I feel he either bluffed me off it with qj or kj, or he had something like the 109 of clubs, opinions welcome on the hand. It was the last hand before the last level of the day and left me playing push poker. If i win that hand things are totally different. Push poker didn't work for once and i was heading to the bar.

Played the side events and railed my mates, but nothing came to fruition. The nights out were more fun than the poker. The trip once again made me realise its time to stop boozing so much and for the next two months i will be alcohol free. Hopefully see everybody in newcastle in a couple of weeks, but for now its off to nottingham for the norweigian poker championships. Report on that will follow next week.

Speak soon peeps.

Dom aka sober dom

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Big result...nice

Finally got a chunky result online again. Had a bit of a dry spell in big tournies online recently, although if im honest ive not been playing them all that much. Anyway after a fruitless weekend trading the us masters-badly- i decided to play the mansion 150k. With just under 1000 players entered and 1 rebuy available there probably wasnt much added money. No matter the standard of play did that all by itself. For once i got some big hands early on-they held up and i got paid off big time.
By the time we got to the final table i was 5th in chips and very comfortable. I soon knocked out 4 or 5 players and when 3 handed i had 3/4 of the chips when the following hand happened.
In the bb i saw 46 off suit, the trappy/weak passive small blind completed so i decided not to raise and see a flop., The ace 4 6 two diamond flop appealed to me greatly. Especially as this small blind has history of slow playing hands to death. He checked and i decided to bet out and see if he had an ace, when he immediately reraised me i quickly learnt he probably did. I soon concluded i was going all the way here and if he had ace 4, or ace 6 or even a set it was just a cooler flop and anyway i had him covered. I hoped the worst case scenario was a flush draw with some kind of pair. When he turned over ace king no diamond i was overjoyed. The 7 bricked on the turn meaning if the river didnt pair the 7 or ace or the king then i would have 90 percent of the chips in play and one hand on the $32k first prize. Nope the cowboy hit and now it was a proper contest.
The villan soon despatched the short stack and we were heads up about level in chips. Unfortunately he got the better of the early exchanges and jumped into a 2-1 chip lead when suddenly we were given a 5 minute break.
After i returned to my laptop following a quick beverage i was shocked to see my opponent sitting out. As the software dsnt protect for disconnections he was automatically folded on all of his hands. It didnt even become a moral decision for me.By the time he returned we were now level in chips.
Probably tilting this passive player started raising every hand-or in case he should he be disconnected again- but at the time i felt he was tilting from the disconnection. I folded 3 or 4 hands before the following hand came up.
Sitting in the big blind with qj off my opponent raised for the 5th hand in a row. I called, more than happy to see a flop. ACE Q 7 flopped down and i checked. He bet and i called. The turn brought a 5 and i checked, again he bet, even stronger this time. I felt he was still tilting and decided to call. The river came a 6 and i checked again. He put me allin and i now realised i was going to have to call because i was now very short stacked due to my call on the turn. He showed ace jack and i picked up just shy of $20k. Im very happy with such a return on my 100 dollar investment, yet i cant help feeling ive thrown away 6 grand sterling by underestimating my opponent on the final hand. I probably should have either bet out on the flop or check raised the flop to find out where i was-any thoughts greatly appreciated.
Well at least the old bankroll has recieved a nice timely boost just before i head off on thursday for the gala nottingham poker festival-i can't wait!

Speak soon peeps.

Dom

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Manchester GUKPT Seat locked up

Well isn't getting lucky sometimes the best?
Wasn't on my A game last night to be honest but managed to luckbox my way to a $2750 gukpt manchester package on blue square in their 100 dollar rebuy. I cruised through the rebuy stage, but decided to add on as the percentage of players actually doing it actually warranted it....and the fact that i almost always add on, especially for 100 bucks. Well its a good job i did as within minutes in the f/o stage i had ran ak suited into the bullets. I was fairly crippled, something that didnt help when i tried to bluff either a very good player or a huge calling station with ace high on the river, he called with low pair of 4s...with a 2 kicker!
So now left with 700 chips i felt i would be turning the laptop off in anger rather than jubilation. But i doubled up a couple of times when the following hand arose. In the big blind with 69 off suit and 3k in chips with 300 already commited i noticed that 4 players had limped into my blind. Sensing i could take down 1200 chips of dead money i shoved, only to be insta called by the under the gun big stack limper. Have ace queen or a pair of 5s i shouted. To my somewhat surprise he had called with ace jack off with players still to act. I felt the 9 that hit justified my 'brave' play and his dubious play. Well thats how im seeing it :)
Soon enough the blinds had further increased and i sucked out on a poor player who raised 3x the bb from the cutoff. Again i saw ak and decided a shove was the only option as i really couldnt afford to lose any chips by call/folding an acekingless flop,his kings were good untill my bullet dropped on the river.
After that a floppped straight and a nut flush on the bubble saw me smoothly reach my package in style. Its all good and bring on manchester...

ps-dtd 321 weekend was fun if expensive, great tournie but i need to rock up more in it, especially with the great structure.

pps- later peeps

Dom

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Running good and bad, wsope on tv and april...

Apologies for such a gap between blog entries. I just haven't felt like posting all that much recently, probably was putting off the empire report out of sheer laziness.

Basically that tournament went well but i'm not overly happy with the deal i struck. I feel like i probably cost myself a couple of grand by going with the flow, but thats a lesson learned and i wont do it again. Key hands from the tournament seem to have vanished from my somewhat limited brain space, which probably means their weren't many of note. In honesty the deck hit me in the face a bit but i also played very well.

A couple of days after that i chopped the 100 rebuy tournie down the sportsman, that was a good deal tho as the tournie was becoming a crapshoot and i felt the chip leader gave a very generous deal by only taking 50 quid more than the rest of us...surely he should have held out for 60.

Since then the wins have dried up a little, in fact its been a bad couple of weeks online. Until today that is.

Had a good april fools day picking up about 1500 snarlers from poker and sports. Unfortunately i was left wondering what if, and how much more could it have been. I had already won a fair it on the dogs and the man u game( ronaldo fgs is a liscence to print money right now) so i decided to try my hand at the 110k grntd on mansion-a tournie i used to regularly play.

As it doesnt give much of an overlay anymore, i rarely place this one nowadays. Yet like getting back on a bike i felt id never been away, and was soon amongst the chip leaders. Never really looked back after that and was 4th in chips with 30 left when i started to lose races. However i clawed back from that with good solid poker. By the time there were 17 left i was guaranteed 1k, but my thoughts were firmly on the 27k first prize. However a serial cut off raiser raised my bb when i had 9s. Unfortunately the raise meant i either pushed or flat called-yes it had become a bit crapshooty, and as he insta called my push i wasn't surprised to see the bullets which held up.

The wsope is on tv from april 21st and i cannot wait to see myself on sky. Ive already seen the first three episodes on pokertube yet will probably resist watching the others until they are broadcast. I only watched the first 3 as i correctly suspected i wouldn't be seen at all. Of course all this sounds very vain of me, its not, im actually very nervous of seeing myself on the tv-and hope i dont come across as a fool-its just nice to finally get the chance to see it.

April will be very busy pokerwise. Im off to dtd this weekend to play their deepstack-which i really like. Then its back to nottingham for the gala main event, before manchester beckons for the gukpt. Vegas and the venetian deepstack festival is something id like to fit in, but financial and time constraints may postpone a visit till june and the wsop.

I feel this entry may have come across a bit strangely and gramatically poor-but hell its 430 am and im knackered!

Hope all are well and speak soon peeps.

Dom